'Joe Exotic' Indicted In Plot To Kill Tampa Woman: DOJ, Reports

GULF BREEZE, FL — Joseph Maldonado-Passage or “Joe Exotic,” the former owner of an exotic animal park in Oklahoma who also ran for president in 2016, was indicted by a federal grand jury in a murder-for-hire plot, according to the Department of Justice.

Maldonado-Passage, 55, was indicted on two counts of hiring a person to commit murder, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oklahoma. Prosecutors allege that Maldonado-Passage tried to order a hit on a Florida woman on two separate occasions.

He is accused of hiring an unnamed person in November 2017 to murder a woman in Florida, who is identified only as “Jane Doe.” The indictment alleges Maldonado-Passage gave the unnamed person $3,000 to travel from Oklahoma to South Carolina and then to Florida to carry out the murder. Prosecutors say Maldonado-Passage “agreed to pay thousands more after the deed.”

Maldonado-Passage also made the unnamed person travel Dallas to get fake identification and the person traveled from Oklahoma to South Carolina in Nov. 2017, the DOJ said.

In another instance, prosecutors say Maldonado-Passage repeatedly asked a different unnamed person beginning in July 2016 “to find someone to murder Jane Doe in exchange for money.” Prosecutors say this person put Maldonado-Passage in contact with an undercover FBI agent and Maldonado-Passage met with the agent in Dec. 2017 to discuss details.

Prosecutors say Jane Doe did not suffer any physical harm. According to KFOR, Jane Doe is the owner of Tampa-based Big Cat Rescue.

Maldonado-Passage was arrested in Gulf Breeze, Florida on Friday. If he’s found guilty, Maldonado-Passage could be imprisoned for up to ten years on each county. He could also face three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 per count.

Mugshot via Santa Rosa County Jail

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